Good news: GM sold 281 Chevy Volts last month

That brings the grand total so far up to … 928 cars. Which, believe it or not, is considerably more than its rival, the Nissan Leaf.

I don’t get it. Why wouldn’t someone want to own a $41,000 electric car that under some circumstances gets worse mileage than a Prius?

Why, it’s downright un-American not to.

Peruse Chevrolet’s February sales release, and you’ll notice one number that’s blatantly missing: the number of Chevy Volts sold. The number – a very modest 281 – is available in the company’s detailed data (PDF), but it certainly isn’t something that GM wants to highlight, apparently. Keeping the number quiet is a bit understandable, since it’s lower than the 321 that Chevy sold in January…

Ouch. The big questions, of course, revolve around one word: “Why?” Is ramping up production and deliveries still a problem? Is demand weak? Are unscrupulous dealers to blame? When will sales start to climb? And what are these numbers doing to plug-in vehicle work at other automakers?

Nissan has sold 173 Leafs in two months; Megan McArdle notes that, back in November, its CEO was projecting sales of 500,000 per year by 2013.

Consumer Reports reviewed the Volt recently as part of its annual car issue but their analysis is behind a reg wall. Try this write-up in the Detroit News instead, or watch the video below of an editor groaning about the sticker price on Fox Business. They paid $48,700 for their test ride and lamented, among other things, the fact that it takes fully five hours to charge the damned thing. Verdict: “This is going to be a tough sell to the average consumer.” No kidding.

Chevy’s only hope now? Saudi Arabia’s “day of rage” next Friday blossoms into a full-fledged Wahhabist revolution, with oil sales to the west embargoed indefinitely thereafter. $15 per gallon gas, here we come.

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David Strom 3:31 PM on November 30, 2022